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Layaway good option for holiday shopping

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Christmas is around the corner, and stores have already started advertising holiday bargains. For parents who don’t have the cash to pay for items up front or have challenges with credit, layaway is a great option for holiday shopping.

Kmart and Sears offer layaway year round, said Salima Yala, the divisional vice president of layaway at Sears Holding.

“Customers are, in fact, using layaway as a budgeting tool,” Yala said.

“We know that customers are really pressured from a cash-flow perspective nowadays, so layaway is really another way for them to get what they need for the holidays or even beyond the holidays without breaking the bank or just not getting what they need.”

Kmart and Sears offer an eight-week layaway program, which requires a $5 service fee and a down payment of $15 or 10 percent of the total, whichever is greater. Most merchandise is eligible.

Customers must make biweekly payments. There is a $10 cancellation fee. The stores also offer a 12-week layaway program.

WALMART: Walmart shoppers can place eligible toys, electronics and fine jewelry items on layaway through Dec. 16, excluding Nov. 25. A 10 percent down payment and nonrefundable $5 service fee apply.

Customers must make a minimum total purchase of $50 and a minimum price of $15 per item is required. A $10 cancellation fee will be charged for orders that are not paid for and picked up by Dec. 16.

ROSES: Customers can place purchases of $200 or more on layaway. A 20 percent down payment is required, with a $5 fee included. Shoppers must make biweekly payments. Items must be picked up by Dec. 15. Clearance items cannot be placed on layaway. There is a $10 cancellation fee, according to a local assistant manager.

T.J. MAXX AND MARSHALLS: Layaway is offered in some stores. In stores where layaway is available, customers must pay for the purchase over a 30-day period, with an initial deposit of 10 percent.

A fee, usually $5, is charged if the customer cancels the transaction. Shoppers should contact their local store for details.

TOYS R US AND BABIES R US: According to their Web sites, these stores offer layaway, but corporate officials did not respond to my inquiry for further details.

COUPONS

Today’s issue of The Augusta Chronicle has $855.78 in coupons. This includes $358.99 in Smartsource, $36.70 in RedPlum, $10 at Rack Room Shoes, $7.09 at Kmart, $16 at Rite Aid, $33 at Sears, $35 at Firestone, $30 at Walgreens, $10 at Belk, $313 at Target and $6 at Walmart.

The SmartSource insert has a coupon to save $1 on any Welch’s 64-ounce Light Grape Juice Beverage (any flavor). It expires Feb. 6.

Black Friday Childcare: The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center is offering affordable childcare for parents on Black Friday. On Nov. 25, childcare will be available from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The cost is $25 for four hours and $5 for each additional hour. Children can participate in swimming, inflatables, gym play and crafts. They can bring a bathing suit, towel and change of clothes. Attendees will also be served breakfast and lunch.
Registration is required because spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call the Kroc Center at (706) 364-5762.

Countdown to Turkey Day Giveaways: MAU Workforce Solutions is presenting Countdown to Turkey Day Giveaways. Prizes include a Kindle Touch, $125 Best Buy gift card and Kindle Fire.

To enter, visit www.facebook.com/mau.workforce.solutions. Click on “Sweepstakes,” then “Enter Sweepstakes” and complete the entry form. Entrants should also “like” MAU’s Facebook page. Prizes will be awarded weekly.

  • Week Three (Nov. 5-11): Kindle Touch
  • Week Four (Nov. 12-18): $125 Best Buy Gift Card
  • Week Five (Nov. 19-25): Grand Prize – Kindle Fire

Free Shred Day: Fort Gordon Federal Credit Union will have a Community Shred Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 36305 Avenue of the States.

Each person is allowed up to 500 pounds of material to destroy, which equals approximately 20 standard size bankers’ boxes. Disks, films, tapes and CDs will be destroyed separately at Records Management Center warehouse. Patrons must remove all three-ring binders and dispose of all boxes.

Recycle Old Laptop: When customers purchase a new, Windows 7 laptop at Staples or Staples.com (regularly priced $599 or more) and recycle their old laptop, they will receive a $100 Visa Prepaid card.

The laptop-recycling deal is available through Nov. 11 and from Nov. 27 to Dec. 24.

Shoppers should register their laptop at www.tradeupandrecycle.com, and they will be sent a box in the mail to ship their old laptop for free. The $100 Visa prepaid card will arrive in the mail, according to a release.

Netbooks, tablets and desktop computers are not eligible for this promotion. The recycled laptop must be five years old or less and have a working A/C adapter, undamaged screen and battery. The laptop power should also be working at the time it is received by the third-party recycling company. The deal is not valid on any prior laptop purchases.


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